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FORMER HOGS HELP HAWKS TO CONFERENCE FINALS

By: Mike Peck

Nine former IceHogs taking part in playoff run

Nine former members of the Rockford IceHogs have helped the Chicago Blackhawks into the Western Conference Finals.

Following Wednesday’s Game 7 win over the Detroit Red Wings, the Blackhawks return to the Conference Finals for the first time since 2010 when they claimed the Stanley Cup and will now face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.

Leading the way for the Blackhawks is former IceHogs goalie Corey Crawford. Crawford has been in net for all 12 postseason contests so far in 2012. The third-year NHL backstop is 8-4 in the playoffs with a 1.70 goals against average (2nd in the NHL) and a .938 save percentage (3rd in the NHL).

Former IceHogs winger Bryan Bickell is tied for second on the Blackhawks with five goals, including the game-winning overtime tally in the team’s first postseason tilt against Minnesota on April 30.

Andrew Shaw is tied for fifth on the club with six points through 12 playoff tilts and helped jump start the Blackhawks comeback against Detroit by scoring two goals in Game 5, Chicago’s 4-1 win, the first of three straight victories over the Red Wings.

Other former IceHogs who have suited up and played in the postseason include Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, Brandon Saad, Dave Bolland and Brandon Bollig.

Through two rounds, former Rockford skaters have contributed 30.0% of Chicago’s goal scoring and 26.4% of the team’s point production overall.

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